In the second squirrel-hunting accident over the past two weeks in Marathon County, Wisc., a 29-year-old Wausau man died after one of his hunting companions fired at one of the bushy-tailed rodents — but hit his friend instead.
The shooting took place around 9 a.m. Sunday morning when 32-year-old Sang Her and his 37-year-old brother, Blong Her, were out stalking the cute, nut-consuming critters on a woodsy plot of private land in the Wisconsin town of Halsey.
Sang took aim at a squirrel, apparently unaware that the third hunter in their group, Xou Chang, was standing near the line of fire.
The single round from Her’s rifle went awry and took down Chang, who died from the wound.
On Sept. 15, a 20-year-old man hunting near the ironically named Happy Hollow Road in Kronenwetter, Wisc., was somehow mistaken for a squirrel by another hunter and shot in the chest with a .22 caliber bullet.
The man was hospitalized for his wound.
Hunting squirrels may seem like an innocuous activity as far as hunting goes, unless of course you’re a squirrel. But in fact, it’s pretty dangerous. Squirrel-hunting mishaps are somewhat common.
In September 2012, Ken Her of Clovis, Calif. was hunting squirrels near Lake Isabella outside of Bakersfield. His partner slipped somehow — with his finger on the trigger of his rifle. When he hit the ground, the gun went off. The shot struck Herm, who died.
In June of this year, an unidentified man faced possible charges in Black Forest, Colo., when he shot at a squirrel, missed, and hit a worker on a nearby property. The victim in that case was not seriously injured.
Feb. 23, 2011, was a bad day for squirrel-hunting in North Carolina. First, 14-year-old David Purifoy was on a tree stand talking on a cell phone when his friend fired at a squirrel, hitting and killing Purifoy instead.
The same day, an 8-year-old in Raleigh suffered severe brain injuries when his grandfather was shooting at squirrels with a pellet gun. The older man set the gun down, then picked it up again when he saw his grandson emerge from the house.
The man was checking to make sure the safety catch was on. It wasn’t.
A pellet penetrated the boy’s eye and entered his brain. Doctors later determined that the child’s brain activity had ceased.
Sources: Wausau Daily Herald, Wisconsin Radio Network, Bakersfield Californian, WFMY TV, Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting